Earlier today, Rishi Sunak announced additional support will be available for businesses who have been impacted by the Omicron variant. So, what do we know? Businesses…
A few weeks ago (20 April 2020) the Chancellor announced a package of support which included the Future Fund and £750 million of support from Innovate UK. The announcement was short on details on what constitutes the £750m.
Well, on Friday (15 May) some details were released and I would stress there is a relatively short window to apply for some of these funds – that said the inference from the guidance is that Innovate UK should have been in contact (where applicable).
Three elements of support as outlined in the guidance released on Friday:
|Continuity grants||£90m||SMEs and third sector organisations who are existing Innovate UK award holders and who are at risk of abandoning their project due to a sudden shortage or even unavailability of funds directly related to COVID-19||available until 29 May 2020|
|Continuity loans||£210m||SMEs and third sector organisations that have a challenge in continuing a live project for which they are have an award from Innovate UK, a sudden shortage or even unavailability of funds resulting directly from the COVID-19 pandemic||open for applications until all the money is allocated or 31 December 2020 – whichever is earlier.|
|Business advice and support||Business advisory support services are available to around 6,000 innovative high-growth-potential, high-growth and scaling SMEs over the next 2 years|
More detail on each element as extracted from the pdf Innovate UK coronavirus business support package details_final are set out below.
Note: at date of preparing this blog there were some apparent inconsistencies between the headlines in the guidance note and in the supporting pdf and within supporting pdf itself; two lines of additional support being covered in the pdf:
- Managing cash flow and project slippage
- Funding new projects
See further below.
Continuity grants and/ or Continuity Loans
|Continuity grants||Continuity loans|
|To cover||Project costs not already covered by your grant and further reasonable costs arising from an increase in the cost of delivering your R&D activity as a result of COVID-19, provided these costs are not already covered by other government support.||Project costs not already covered by your grant and further reasonable costs arising from an increase in the cost of delivering your R&D activity as a result of COVID-19, provided these costs are not already covered by other government support.Deferred interest (described) will also be included in the maximum loan amount available.|
|Eligible||All existing SME IUK award recipients, subject to status and demand||All existing SME Innovate UK award recipients, subject to status and credit review
You will need to show that your business can afford the interest and repayments on the loan and that it cannot obtain finance from other sources such as banks and equity investors.
|State Aid||Temporary Framework|
More details can be found on the following PDF – Innovate UK coronavirus business support package details including details of the application process.
I cannot see any contact details on the pdf but assume given the statement “Further details and guidance will be sent to existing customers” that Innovate UK will and/ or have contact with you if you are eligible? If not, and the above is of interest I would enquire through your usual point of contact with Innovate UK.
Advisory Support Services
- Will focus on innovative high-growth-potential, high-growth and scaling SMEs (including those already in receipt of Innovate UK funding and those referred in by the Growth Hubs).
- Is based around an SME having access to an Innovate UK EEN Innovation and Growth Adviser and receiving up to 5 days of Adviser time over a 6-12 month period, with up to an additional 3 days for those businesses demonstrating the highest growth potential.
For SMEs with current Innovate UK grants and loans, and not previously in contact with an adviser, then advisers are proactively contacting those companies.
If you haven’t yet been contacted and want to be put in contact with an adviser who will assess the needs of the business, contact the Innovate UK EEN National Enquiry Gateway, either by completing the contact form on the website at: https://www.enterprise-europe.co.uk/contact-us or by calling 0300 123 3144.
The value to each business will be around £5k-10K depending on the support received. (At no cost to the business)
Through expanding the number of Innovation and Growth Advisers, the aim will be to work with around 6,000 businesses over 2 years.
See pdf for state aid status of the Advisory Support Services.
Two other products are referred to on the pdf details as follows:
|Managing cashflow and project slippage||Automatic ‘no cost’ extensions (3 months, renewable)
Reducing retention of grant pending Independent Accountants Reports from 15% to 10%
Moving to monthly payments
|All existing Innovate UK award recipients, subject to status|
|Funding new projects||Through ‘fast start’ grants – also accessible to COVID-19 fast start beneficiaries seeking follow on funding||Subject to innovation assessment through Innovate UK’s processes|